When Advent Arrived

Brad's wallet had been missing for almost a week.  With all of the feeding, working, diaper changing, toddler rearing, and family gatherings, we'd hardly had time to give looking a good focused effort.  We were sharing a debit card, and trying to rack our brain for days about where the wallet could be.  After exhausting all of the typical locations, Brad began to tear the house apart and check every nook and cranny for clues to the the wallet's whereabouts.  No luck.  It was time to move on to the next phase of searching...retracing his steps and calling any place where he might have left it.  A phone call to Fazoli's, the library, and the police station left us with no other option than to declare it officially, lost.

Finally, when it seemed like there was no stone unturned and no step untraced, Brad knelt down with Lewis to do what probably should have been done from the beginning...together they prayed and asked God to please reveal where the wallet was or for some confirmation that it was truly lost.  The next moment, when he and Lewis finished the short prayer, Brad opened his eyes from the prayer only to look over at a nearby car seat and see his wallet sitting right there.

When Brad called to tell me what had happened, I was pulling into the mall parking lot on one of the last shopping Saturdays before Christmas.  Crazy?  Maybe...but this was the first time I had been out of the house for more than a few minutes in almost six weeks.  I was on cloud nine to have an hour and fifteen minutes where I wasn't running urgent errands, and wasn't worrying about pumping or needing to feed a crying baby.  Brad face-timed me (we are new at the iphone thing) so I picked up.  Note: face time and driving do not mix - don't try it.  As I was juggling watching both the parking lot and the video on my phone, I picked up an image of Lewis standing there playing with Brad's wallet while Brad praised God and shared the incredible story of answered prayer.

I walked through the mall and wasn't even frustrated that there were so many people, lines, and craziness.  Tears were welling in my eyes because for the first time in so long, I felt that God was near.  My hour and fifteen minutes felt like three hours...I found a cute sweater, picked up some bigger pajamas for Lewis, and finished some Christmas shopping.  I grabbed dinner without waiting in any lines and even swiped a movie from Redbox for Brad and I to watch later.  It was so refreshing.

Driving home I uttered a silent, "thank you" to God in my heart for the events of that afternoon.

This advent season has been full of my trying...
trying to be strong while my babies were in the NICU
trying to get through the day without having a bad attitude amidst sleep deprivation and hormones
trying to be a good parent to Lewis
trying to remember that I'm also a wife to a husband who needs my love and attention
trying to stop eating so many sweets when I'm worn down and feeling hungry
trying to not stress out about things like sleeping and milk supply
trying to be obedient to God...a God I haven't talked to very much lately.

And I felt truly grateful...that the gospel, the reason that Jesus came down to earth was to save me from my trying.  He is faithful and pursues me even when I'm not faithful and I don't pursue him.  Because He took all of the punishment for my sin in my place, I don't have to worry that God is angry with me when I'm out of fellowship with him.  He is holding on to me and is near, even when I am far.

As I sang Christmas carols to Lewis before bed that night, for the first time this advent season, I sang them IN WORSHIP about a real Jesus who really came, really lived, really died, really rose again and really saved.

"Then let us all with one accord,
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
and with His blood mankind has bought."

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